If you find yourself frazzled and stressed out, try this technique to create little moments of peace.
Each day can be a challenge, especially if various stressors continue to disturb the peace in our mind and soul. We desire peace, but feel like we are drowning in stress.
St. Francis de Sales provides one key that can help calm our soul throughout the day. He explains in his Introduction to the Devout Life that we can create little moments of recollection, retreating into our soul for a brief moment to recall God’s presence.
Strive as often as possible through the day to place yourself in God’s Presence by some one of the methods … The birds have nests in lofty trees, and the stag his refuge in the thick coverts, where he can shelter from the sun’s burning heat; and just so, my child, our hearts ought daily to choose some resting-place, either Mount Calvary, or the Sacred Wounds, or some other spot close to Christ, where they can retire at will to seek rest and refreshment amid toil, and to be as in a fortress, protected from temptation. Blessed indeed is the soul which can truly say, “Thou, Lord, art my Refuge, my Castle, my Stay, my Shelter in the storm and in the heat of the day.“
Essentially this suggestion hinges on our ability to pause for a minute or two, close our eyes and find the presence of God in our soul. This can be done anywhere we are, whether at work, in the home, or while traveling.
Be sure then, my child, that while externally occupied with business and social duties, you frequently retire within the solitude of your own heart. That solitude need not be in any way hindered by the crowds which surround you — they surround your body, not your soul, and your heart remains alone in the Sole Presence of God.
This is a simple practice, one that doesn’t even require any words or prayers to accomplish. All one must do is actively recall the presence of God in our soul, crying out to him and asking him to grant us his peace.
St. Francis de Sales explains how even some of the greatest saints had to do this, unable to physically get away from the world and its pressures.
When Saint Catherine of Sienna was deprived by her parents of any place or time for prayer and meditation, Our Lord inspired her with the thought of making a little interior oratory in her mind, into which she could retire in heart, and so enjoy a holy solitude amid her outward duties. And henceforward, when the world assaulted her, she was able to be indifferent, because, so she said, she could retire within her secret oratory, and find comfort with her Heavenly Bridegroom.
Whatever our situation may be, in the midst of the storms of life, we can always find God within our heart and rest with him for a few moments of peace.